I admit that I am having a hard time keeping up with the emails and headlines in my inbox about this current administration’s latest hurtful actions to take away basic freedoms and protections from the most vulnerable within our communities.
In just one week, much of the progress we have made in the past few decades has been severely compromised.
Over the coming weeks, months, and years, we will find every way to resist the new legal and lived reality that Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ is pushing forward based on his memo last Friday. His agenda not only permits, but sanctions discrimination against LGBTQ people. The guidance in his memo allows businesses, federal agencies, and individuals to discriminate against LGBTQ people by creating sweeping exemptions based on “religious belief.”
Despite this shadow of hatred and fear, today I am grounded in the unwavering determination of our community. I remain focused on the glimmers of hope that exist in every corner of our community and our region.
From incredible new efforts to create a more inclusive LGBTQ community for students in Walla Walla, Washington, to the strength-building LGBTQ storytelling gathering in Southern Oregon, to the uplifting U.T.O.P.I.A. pageant for queer and transgender Pacific Islanders—this past week has been filled with actions, gatherings, and steps forward that give me hope for the work ahead.
Last week was hard, and our response will not be anything less than vigilant in protecting our rights and our communities.
But I will begin my week remembering all the reasons we have to remain hopeful.
Despite the obstacles we know are ahead, we are committed to continuing to strengthen our community—and lift up these amazing people that make up our chosen families.
Ultimately, they are the ones who make me look forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.
Kris Hermanns is Pride Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer.
Please consider donating to our Rapid Response Fund today to counter threats against the hard-fought legal, economic, and cultural advances our communities have made.